Chapter Six: Basic Learning and Perception
Perception, the interpretation of sensory information from visual, auditory and
Learning, means of acquiring new skills and behaviors from experience.
The gradual decline in intensity, frequency or duration to the repeated occurring
of a stimulus. It is the adaptive form of learning to ignore things that offer little
new information and that have become boring.
Recovery from habituation is the return of a response.
Neutral event paired with a stimulus that triggers an inborn reaction can begin to
elicit a response similar to the one initiated by the original stimulus.
Unconditioned stimulus that elicits a reflexlike response
Unconditioned response is a response that is automatically elicited
by an unconditioned stimulus
Conditioned stimulus involves a neutral stimulus that begins to
elicit a response stimulus to the unconditioned stimulus with which
it has been paired
Conditioned response is a learned response that is exhibited to a
previously neutral stimulus as a result of pairing the conditioned
stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus
The frequency of spontaneous, sometimes novel behaviors change as a result of
positive and negative consequences.
Behaviors tend to increase when followed by rewards (positive
reinforcement) or the removal of aversive events (negative reinforcement)
and to decrease when followed by the loss of rewards (negative
punishment) or an aversive outcome (positive punishment)
When a behavior occurs it causes a stimulus event that either increases the
rate of response (reinforcement) or decreases it (punishment)
Individuals often learn and reproduce behaviors important to the community by
observing the activities of others and others may provide further behaviors and
guidance that can be imitated. Imitation is viewed as having an important social-
communicative function and signals of the earliest games babies play to learn
about others in their surroundings.
Deferred imitation is the ability to imitate a sequence of actions well after some
activity has been demonstrated. Other forms of learning:
Implicit learning is learning about complex events without awareness.
Responsible for acquiring substantial knowledge about language, categories and
procedural routines that accompany many motor behaviors
Underlies much of perceptual learning
Statistical learning emphasizes that associations are formed because some
event co-occur in a statistically predictable order
Sensory and Perceptual Capacities:
Sensation refers to the basic units of information recorded by a sensory receptor
and the brain.
Perception refers to the process of organizing and interpreting sensations.
Perceptual development is a constructive process, one of imposing sense and
order on the multisensory external world.
Measuring infant sensory and perceptual capacities:
Attention is the alertness or arousal focused on a specific aspect of the
environment. When infants display attentional preferences by looking longer at
one thing than at another they are communicating that they perceive differences
between visual arrays.
Preferential behaviors: One to six month olds attended to disks colored
with bulls-eyes, stripes, newsprint or face like figures far longer than to
solid colored circles
Visions and visual perception:
Visuomotor skills, lens focuses visual images onto the retina (the back of the eye
that houses..) rods which are responsive to light and cones which are sensitive to
different wavelengths of